CPT® 2018 Quiz: Can You Say Laparoscopic Esophagectomy Three Times Fast?

Fri, Jan 19, 2018


CPT 2018 esophagectomy

Have you mastered which laparoscopic esophagectomy procedures match to the three new options in the CPT® 2018 code set? The descriptors for 43286-43288 are dense, packed with anatomic and surgical terms that sometimes hit the eight-syllable mark. So if you know which terms to look for in your documentation to help narrow down your code choice, your work will be a lot easier. Let’s do a quick quiz.

Meet the Laparoscopic Esophagectomy Codes

If these new codes are ones you’ll use, then you already know the esophagus …

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Did You Catch It? New Year, New Look for CLFS

Wed, Jan 17, 2018


Medicare CLFS 2018

Your 2018 preparations for lab coding aren’t complete if you haven’t looked into the changes to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Here are some hints from Pathology/Lab Coder to point you in the right direction.

Get an Overview of the CLFS Makeover

The 2018 CLFS brought a major overhaul to payment for lab testing. This year’s CLFS provides one national payment rate for each lab code (with some exceptions being marked as locally priced).

As an example of the new national approach, if you look up comprehensive metabolic panel code 80053, you’ll see a national rate of $13.04 …

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Skill Sharpener: Add to Your Cardiogenic Shock Coding Knowledge

Wed, Jan 10, 2018


ICD-10 coding for cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock may affect treatment outcomes for patients with multivessel coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction, so it’s an important diagnosis to document. What is cardiogenic shock, and what are the ICD-10-CM codes for it? Let’s take a look.

Get to Know the Diagnosis

A patient with the medical emergency known as cardiogenic shock has low cardiac output. That means the heart can’t pump enough blood for the body. In cardiogenic shock, this happens suddenly. Damage to the heart (typically the left ventricle) from causes such as a heart attack, inflammation (myocarditis), infection (endocarditis), or drug use may lead …

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Survey Says: 83 Percent of Physicians Report Cybersecurity Attacks

Mon, Jan 8, 2018


healthcare cybersecurity

Four out of five U.S. physicians surveyed reported experiencing a cyberattack, according to research from the AMA and Accenture. The role of electronic health information is growing, and the information itself is attractive to criminals interested in gaining private information. All of that makes cybersecurity a crucial issue for the healthcare industry and every patient, too. To keep your data safe, here are some training tips.

1. Don’t Assume Phishing Scams Are Easy to Spot

About 55 percent of those surveyed reported phishing, making it the most common type of cyberattack. You may already know to be suspicious of emails …

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Avoid This $45 Mistake! Know the Difference Between US Codes 76881 and 76882

Thu, Jan 4, 2018


Many specialties provide joint ultrasounds, including radiology, podiatry, and orthopedics. And that means many specialty coders need to know about changes to the descriptors and guidelines for ultrasound (US) codes 76881 and 76882 in the CPT® 2018 code set. Use this quick primer to be sure you’re using these revised codes correctly for 2018 dates of service.

Get to Know the Updated Descriptors

The descriptors below are what you’re familiar with from 2017:

  • 76881 (Ultrasound, extremity, nonvascular, real-time with image documentation; complete)
  • 76882 (… limited, anatomic specific).

Here are the 2018 descriptors:

  • 76881 (Ultrasound, complete joint (ie, joint space and peri-articular soft tissue structures) real-time with image documentation
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Improve Your Knowledge of the MIPS Improvement Activities Category

Wed, Jan 3, 2018


There’s no time like New Year’s to think about improvement! Improvement activities in MIPS, that is.

Background: MIPS focuses on the categories of quality, cost, practice-based improvement activities (IA), and advancing care information (ACI), the last of which focuses on use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). It can be tough to wrap your head around MIPS when you take all the categories together. To help bring some clarity, today we’ll take a closer look at IA, including what to expect for performance year 2018.

What Are the Activities Supposed to Improve?

The goal of the IA category is to improve clinical practice, care delivery, and outcomes.

How Much Does IA Count …

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Ins and Outs of Increasing Revenue for Your Orthopedic Practice

Thu, Dec 28, 2017


orthopedic practice management

The 2018 update season has brought some interesting news for orthopedics, from staggering numbers of ICD-10-CM changes to removing TKA code 27447 from the inpatient-only list. The changes are a good reminder (as if you needed one) that there are a lot of factors involved in keeping an orthopedic practice financially sound. Here are some ins (things you can do to improve current systems) and outs (ideas to consider beyond what you currently provide) to think about for 2018.

Make the Most of What You’ve Got

To keep your orthopedic practice healthy, you’ve got to …

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Dig In to the IPPS/MS-DRG Alphabet Soup

Tue, Dec 26, 2017


IPPS and MS-DRG terminology

Inpatient facility coding and reimbursement come with their own Medicare language, and that includes a fair number of abbreviations. Here’s a beginning glossary to help next time you come across a jumble of letters related to inpatient coding. Hint: The terms are in alphabetical order, but if you’re new to this area, start by reading the DRG, MS-DRG, and IPPS entries.

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We’ve Wrapped Up 4 Medicare PET Coding and Coverage Resources for You!

Thu, Dec 21, 2017


CMS keeps a close eye on PET imaging, and that means you need to, too. Make sure you’re using all of these resources so you understand coding and coverage for this high-tech imaging option.

1. Know Where to Find NCD Details

Medicare has a National Coverage Determination (NCD) for PET scans, with specifics for everything from FDG PET for Breast Cancer to Beta Amyloid Positron Emission Tomography in Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disease. There are a variety of ways you can access the NCD.

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Here Comes Santa ‘Jaws’! Taste Success With This Tongue and Mouth Floor Coding Quiz

Wed, Dec 20, 2017


Santa Jaws

Need a break from the holiday madness? There’s nothing more relaxing than an anatomy quiz. Or if that’s not your flavor of fun, consider this a way to rev up for more accurate coding in 2018!

The quiz below was inspired by an article in Otolaryngology Coding Alert, the newsletter included in Otolaryngology Coder. Get ready to sharpen your anatomy skills for coding incision and drainage (I&D) involving the tongue or floor of the mouth.

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